35th Tradeswomen, Inc. Anniversary Honorees
Honoree Doree Friedman
Doree Friedman has been working as a tradeswoman for over 35 years. Doree is the founder and President of Fine Line Construction, a Bay Area design-build construction company. Fine Line will celebrate its 35th anniversary in March of 2015.
Doree, Fine Line and Tradeswomen Inc. have worked together over these decades. Doree started out as an artist studying sculpture before she moved into carpentry to support her family. She worked with the tools as a journey–level and superintendent carpenter before founding Fine Line in 1980. Doree was an active member of Tradeswomen Inc.’s board of directors for several years.
Women contractors also fight an uphill and often isolating battle in the industry. Fine Line remains a big supporter of affirmative action and is dedicated to extending equal opportunity and developing a local workforce. Fine Line employs women at all levels and the company is committed to bringing previously unemployed and local residents living below the poverty level into the trades.
As Fine Line has grown, it has strengthened relationships with the area Building Trades Unions. Fine Line Construction is signatory with the Carpenters Union, the Laborers Union and the Lathers and Plasterers Union. Doree notes that union membership has not only enhanced the opportunities and benefits to the Fine Line crews, but has greatly increased the company’s ability to maintain a stable source of skilled, reliable carpenters and construction laborers.
Doree and Fine Line now concentrate on working on affordable housing in the non-profit sector as part of the community-based focus. Fine Line remains a family-owned and family-operated business with son Paolo, also a carpenter, who has joined the firm as its Vice President. In 2014, Fine Line was selected as one of the top 100 women owned business in the Bay Area by the SF Business Times.
Doree Friedman, contractor, proud mother of two children, a grandmother of two, is still a sculptor.
Honorees Butch Cabrera, Randal Miller and the Operating Engineers Local 3 Joint Apprenticeship Committee
The Northern California Operating Engineers Local 3 (OE3) Apprenticeship programs have the highest percentage of female apprentices among California’s construction apprenticeship programs. At four times higher than the average, this achievement is a tribute to OE3’s union leadership and OE3’s Apprenticeship leadership. While, in past years, we have honored women leaders in our partner construction training programs–including the Operating Engineers–tonight we wish to recognize the role that male training staff can play in the success of women during their apprenticeships.
Butch Cabrera believes in organized labor and equal opportunity. Butch is the son of migrant field workers and joined his first union, the United Farm Workers, in September 1972. Butch later joined the Operating Engineers Local 3 where he held positions as job steward, dispatcher, Job Placement Center Director, and Member Services Director. In 2002, Butch was appointed as an Apprenticeship Coordinator for Local 3. Butch says that “I have been on the side of organized labor all of my life and will continue to work for our common goal of better wages, fringes, and working conditions until I can no longer do so.”
Randal Miller is a United States Army trained honorably discharged Combat Engineer. Randal joined Operating Engineers in 1997 and completed his apprenticeship in 2001. He worked in the field perfecting his craft as an equipment operator until e joined the OE3 staff as a dispatcher in the Oakland District in 2002. The following year, he became an Apprenticeship Coordinator for Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Randal has worked closely with Tradeswomen Inc. and other community-based organizations in the East Bay. Randal’s personal commitment to providing equal opportunity as well as his standards of excellence in training the next generations are recognized by all who work with him.
Honoree Debra Chaplan
Debra Chaplan is Director of Special Programs for the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California. In this position for the past 16 years, Debra has worked closely with Tradeswomen Inc. to build an annual conference for women in the building trades. With her nurturance and the additional support of tradeswomen from all over the country, the Women Building California Conference, now the Women Building California and the Nation Conference, and soon to be Women Building the Nation, has become a truly blockbuster annual event. These annual conferences are a critical link for building a stronger national tradeswomen’s movement; their importance cannot be overestimated. The 2014 conference was the largest event for women in the building trades in history. Without Debra, this would not have been possible.
Debra served on the board of Tradeswomen, Inc. for about 13 years stepping away from the board in 2013. She held office as treasurer and then vice-president while volunteering her skills and services unstintingly. Her work on the board helped Tradeswomen Inc. develop stronger and richer relationships with California construction trades unions. Debra also serves on the National Building Trades Department Committee on Women in the Trades.
Debra has developed other programs with the State Building Trades including the nationally-recognized tobacco education project known as BUILT (Building Trades Unions Ignite Less Tobacco), Building California Construction Careers (BC3), a marketing and outreach project that promotes career opportunities in the construction industry and several OSHA-funded safety and health training programs. She produces newspapers for several Teamster Locals and for Joint Council 7, as well as for Machinists District Lodge 190.
Debra has a long history of working with workers and unions. She currently serves on the board of WorkSafe and is a proud member of Teamsters Local 853.